First Nickel Inc.
TSX : FNI

First Nickel Inc.

October 24, 2005 08:30 ET

First Nickel Intersects 23.1 Metres Grading 2.21% Cu And 1.20% Ni In Footwall In First Drill Hole On Bowell Property

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2005) -

MINING BEGINS AT LOCKERBY MINE

First Nickel Inc. (TSX:FNI) is pleased to report the intersection of near surface, footwall hosted massive to semi-massive sulphides in the first hole of the Bowell diamond drill hole program. First Nickel also announced mining has started at the Lockerby Mine in the Sudbury basin.

Bowell Property

First Nickel intersected a pipe-like zone of 23.1 metres grading 1.20% Ni, 2.21% Cu and 1.27 gpt Pt+Pd+Au hosted in a footwall Sudbury Breccia unit within a broader zone of mineralization containing 39.8 metres of 1.32% Ni, 1.89% Cu and 1.25 gpt Pd+Pt+Au. An intersection of 16.1 metres grading 1.53% Ni, 1.50% Cu and 1.25 gpt Pd+Pt+Au is associated with contact style sulphide mineralization and comprises the upper portion of the zone.

First Nickel interprets this pipe-like zone to represent sulphide mineralization extending vertically beneath the known contact-style deposit. This footwall sulphide zone hosts a higher copper content than the known deposit, with grades of up to 10.1% Cu over 0.5 metres. Recently completed deep penetration Induced Polarization surveys have revealed a large anomaly in the footwall environment that, in light of the intersection in this first hole, could indicate a large footwall sulphide body.



Intersections in the first hole are summarized as follows:

From To Core Ni Cu Pt Pd Au Pt+Pd+Au
(m) (m) Length(m) (%) (%) (gpt) (gpt) (gpt) (gpt)
Contact
58.9 75.0 16.1 1.53 1.50 0.409 0.724 0.120 1.25
Incl.
58.9 65.55 6.65 2.00 1.55 0.462 0.989 0.118 1.57
Footwall
75.6 98.7 23.1 1.20 2.21 0.464 0.694 0.113 1.27
Combined
58.9 98.7 39.8 1.32 1.89 0.436 0.697 0.115 1.25

(m-metres, Ni- nickel, Cu- copper, Pt -platinum, Pd - palladium,
Au- gold, gpt - grams per tonne)


A second diamond drill has started working on the property to better define the higher grade (+2% Ni) portion of the known contact-style deposit and to explore for further footwall sulphide mineralization at depth. A total of 8000 metres of diamond drilling is proposed in this diamond drill campaign for the Bowell Property. (See releases September 6, 2005 and March 22, 2005 for particulars of the terms and conditions under which First Nickel has the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Bowell Property.)

The surface drilling program is being supervised by Phil Vicker, PGeo, of First Nickel, a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101. First Nickel Inc. follows a rigorous QA/QC protocol for the Bowell Project. Drill cores of interest (NQ size) are longitudinally sawn, with half sent to a commercial laboratory, Expert Laboratory of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, and the remaining half retained for future reference. For samples used in metallurgical test work, one quarter will be sent for assay, one quarter will be retained for future reference, and one half will be sealed in plastic bags and frozen pending metallurgical work. Insertion of standards and blanks are submitted for each batch of samples, visual sulphide estimates are used to assess results, and pulps will be periodically retested at a second independent laboratory.

Core samples are routinely analyzed for nickel, copper, cobalt and silver by total digestion atomic absorption, and gold, platinum and palladium are analyzed by lead fire assay with atomic absorption finish.

Lockerby Mine

Mining operations at Lockerby Mine have commenced. Long-hole drilling of the first Depth Zone stope (Level 61) is in progress and ore development for the second stope (Level 63) started the week of October 3rd. First Nickel plans to truck ore to the Strathcona Mill of Falconbridge Limited in November. Surface ore handling will incorporate crushing, sampling and weighing to ensure accurate grade determination. Daily production from the Depth Zone is expected to be 700 tonnes per day by the first quarter of 2006.

One underground diamond drill rig commenced at the East Zone of the Lockerby Mine in early October to upgrade existing resources to reserves and to increase resources. A second underground diamond drill is expected within several weeks to upgrade existing Depth Zone resources to reserves for mine planning purposes and to extend the life of the mine.

First Nickel, Inc. is a Canadian junior mining and exploration company. Current activities are primarily centered in the Sudbury Basin of northern Ontario, the location of the First Nickel's producing property (Lockerby Mine) and four exploration properties. First Nickel additionally holds two exploration properties near Timmins in northern Ontario. First Nickel shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FNI.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in such statements, and there is no assurance that actual results will be consistent with them. Such forward-looking statements are made as at the date of this news release, and the company assumes no obligation to update or revise them, either publicly or otherwise, to reflect new events, information or circumstances.

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